I first met Phillipe 4 years ago when working with a rescue horse at a barn in Nashville. Phillipe was beautiful, strong but always grazing in the pastures alone. I would talk to him, groom him, but never had interacted or used a Belgium draft horse.
I had my own preconceived notions of draft horses; they were workers, large, and cold. Eventually I asked if I could have one of my rescue thoroughbred horses share the pasture with Phillipe. Immediately, they became best friends: Waylon and Phillipe. They would play, and relished any attention that you gave them.
During this time, I learned more about Phillipe’s background and discovered that he never fit into what he was expected to do. This made him a perfect fit for my diverse herd.
Phillipe’s journey began by breaking a record as the largest therapy horse ever for equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP). We allowed Phillipe to meet new clients, roam around the arena, and never limited what he could or couldn’t do. We discovered that Phillipe naturally wanted to help. He was curious, friendly, nurturing, and fun-loving. Most importantly, Phillipe was extremely sensitive and loving. He just wanted to be part of, he wanted to be loved on and give love in return.
Phillipe has given me the virtue of letting go, which has allowed me to experience all the gifts that he has to give.
And yes, in case you were wondering, Phillipe is named after the horse in Beauty and the Beast!
– Patrick Dunn, VP of JourneyPure and facilitator of equine therapy